For example, the DEA maintains a list of federal trafficking penalties. You’ll face the same penalties for a first offense if you’re holding:
- Cocaine (Schedule II drug).
- Fentanyl (Schedule II drug).
- Heroin (Schedule I drug).
- LSD (Schedule I drug).
The schedules can also impact how researchers do their work. Medical experts continue to dig into drug structure and capabilities, and they look for ways to help people recover from substance abuse. To do that, they need to obtain samples.
As the DEA explains, Schedule I substances can’t be prescribed or dispensed for medical use. If researchers want to dig into these studies, they must get special permission from the Food and Drug Administration to do so. Those requests aren’t always honored.
How Changes Get Made
When researchers can get permission to do their work, they may come up with new uses for very old substances. When they do, that can prompt officials to change the way they both view and control drugs they’ve known about for years.